Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

George Vine - July 5, 1983

Liquidating the Ghetto in 1942

Even at your age then, you were hearing these stories?

Ye...yes, because people were coming in and telling all kind of tales because it was a frightening situation to listen to. But right away the, the, the mind rejects it. They just--the mind would not accept it, the human mind rejects it. Then about towards the end of 1942 the law came out liquidating the ghetto. That was when the Final Solution began; was with us going to Auschwitz that was the very beginning because there was no mass transportation of any people to Auschwitz. Auschwitz was for criminals and for political uh, prisoners that the, Hitler, did not agree with. There were no Jews in Auschwitz.

When, when you got there you were the first...

We were the very first, where they took a train full of people, where they prepared the crematoriums and they were ready, waiting for us and, and that was in October. They told us that, that finally found a place where we gonna work and that we shouldn't worry because we go, the whole families, all together, we didn't have to be separated. We'll be all together and we'll put men and women to work and the kids will have schools and that finally we need workers because the uh, war is going on and we need you people to help us win the war. Put us on the train.

The whole ghetto?

The whole ghetto was liquidated within two, three trips, you know, like thousand one day, thousand the next day. They took 'em in thousands, in 3,000 groups. What we did we were put on trains on--put on trucks, from trucks we were moved over to a bigger town called Płonsk, as a matter of fact, this is the city that David Ben-Gurion was born, just about fifty kilometers from us. And in that city we stayed over one night. They were liquidating one ghetto after another. They were, they, they would merge these ghettos for about three, four weeks until they could, could be logistic, work out a logistic to put 'em on the trains. And we are going to work. Three days later, on the trains, the conditions on the trains uh, were pretty bad. People died from fear, from hunger, from filth, from, from various different reasons here.

How many people were in the car?

We were 3,000 people in that transport.

How many were in the car though? Were you in...

Uh, I don't recall but it was just packed to capacity. It was just, we were just put in like, like herrings. Just, just standing up...

Did you, did you stand up for three days?

Uh, standing up and, and you, you were afraid to sit down on the floor because uh, they would, you'd get trampled. People just were dead and they were just standing there. It was, it was a um, [pause] terrible experience, horrible experience.

So for three days you did not sleep?

We, we didn't get any food, we didn't get any, any uh, any uh, there were no places to urinate or, or to do anything like this, everything had to be done on your body. Uh, people fought for breathing, it, it was a, a, a...

No air.

No air. It was a terrible thing uh, and this was the time when my father told me that certain terrible things will happen and that I must, must survive. I must survive. And as I told you before, uh, it was a relief and finally the train stopped. And they opened up the doors and I felt, well at least it was a bad experience, and of course the experiences just begun.

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